It’s good to look to the past every so often

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

A friend of mine teaches music at high school, and usually has a good tale to tell when it comes to the classic things that come out of youngsters’ mouths.

Notable quotes in the past few months have been, “Who’s Elvis?”, “Do you not just get pitch in football” and “Isn’t Simon Cowell an example of a Baroque composer?”.

But the latest pearls of wisdom from her pupils has made her a bit mad.

While teaching a class about musical notation, one eager student commented that a sharp symbol was, in fact, a hashtag.

Trying to compose herself, she said, through gritted teeth, that the sharp had been around slightly longer than Twitter’s hashtag and deserved a bit more respect.

It seems strange, but let’s face it, what is current is king.

What’s being talked about or apprecriated right here and now is always going to be appealing that something you have to scrape the dust from, regardless of merit.

That’s why I’m so happy that, especially this week, the past is on everyone’s lips.

Locally, nationally and international, the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War has been given the enormous amount of respect and coverage it deserves.

I’ve enjoyed watching all of it, both personally at local war memorials and reading reports of commemoration services further afield.

It’s been an anniversary that was always going to be moving, particularly for those whose fathers and grandfathers never came home from the war.

But it’s been heartening to see so many young people involved in the centenary.

They are even asking questions about what happened, although the real answers are far beyond their comprehension.

But they always surprise you with what they have actually taken in.

Even my tot grandson, who usually only talks about Star Wars, is proudly wearing a poppy and says it’s to remember the “old soldiers”.

He even knows a bit about trench life, although I think he believes some of them are still there.

But these are things that matter, these are that stories that endure.

Just like a music sharp, what’s really important is going nowhere.